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Mexicans upbeat about future despite record electoral violence

Mexicans are gearing up for a general election, with presidential hopefuls wrapping up their campaigns, while the election is clouded by political violence, with multiple attacks against candidates and their families in recent months.

By the time Mexico goes to vote in nationwide elections on June 2, it’s predicted there will have been some 760 cases of political violence.

Over 30 candidates and 20 officials have already been murdered as drug gang violence has tried to influence the democratic process twice as violently as in the 2018 elections.

The bloodshed is largely confined to a handful of provinces and the capital is undeniably safe.

The ruling left wing party, Morena, has suffered by far the most victims. These were not high-profile national politicians, but local figures who usually lack bodyguards.

The violence is very bad for democracy, this ambiance of insecurity and the control that drug gangs have over some areas of the country is a roller coaster for investors, both domestic and foreign, who want security, and also for regular voters.

Member of Public 01

An explosion of drug money in the past 18 years has created a situation whereby, not only do gangs intimidate local politicians, but they often finance their own corrupt candidates.

How can there be liberty when there is violence? Our candidates have to be able to work freely and be able to implement the approved policies.

Mexico is in the middle of an unusual era. So this political violence is not typical for us, but those elected must put an end to it.

Member of Public 02

The current administration has prioritized social programs to raise standards in poor so-called narco-state areas and has rejected armed clashes with the cartels, however, policies of economic and social justice take time to implement and bear fruit.

 Former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum holds a rally at Macroplaza Iztapalapa, pursuing to be the ruling Morena party’s candidate for the 2024 presidential election, in Mexico City, Mexico, August 1, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)


Claudia Sheinbaum, candidate for rMorena, who is expected to become the new president, says she will continue to withdraw funding for police and direct them to the National Guard as new security tactics are being tried.

The problem is that neither approach has really succeeded. Not ‘The Iron Fist’ nor ‘Hugs, Not Bullets’.

The leading candidate, Claudia Sheinbaum, has mostly tried to sweep the question of security under the rug, while the opposition hasn’t been able to formulate a clear or new solution either.

We should keep in mind that the problem of eradicating crime and drug gangs is not limited to just Mexico, but is found in many Latin American countries, and the United States, as well.

Fausto Pretelin, Political Analyst

With the second highest homicide rate in the world, it seems unlikely that Mexico’s political arena could totally escape violence.

However, Mexicans often say that they reject Western stereotypes that drug gangs have made their democracy a failed state and a 63 percent electoral turnout in 2018 surpasses most Western countries.

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